40 Days for Life began their 2020 campaign today with 588 participating cities across the nation and the world, the largest number of participants in the movement’s 13-year history.
Every autumn, thousands of people across the nation and around the globe engage in 40 days of intentional prayer and outreach at local abortion facilities. The movement had a humble beginning, with four people meeting in prayer about how they might end abortion in Brazos Valley after a Planned Parenthood clinic was opened there in 1998. The 40-day campaign that came of that prayer meeting became a nationally coordinated effort in 2007.
Now, with participation spanning across nations, 40 Days for Life boasts of having saved over 17,000 lives during its campaigns and the closing of over 100 abortion centers.
According to their website:
“40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses.”
This year, despite a global pandemic that has led to mass economic shutdown and a great decrease in large, social gatherings, 40 Days for Life began its 2020 campaign today with the largest number of participating cities its history.
“Many thought that the pandemic and civil unrest in our streets would be a deterrent,” said 40 Days for Life’s President and CEO Shawn Carney, “but I am so proud of the local leaders who came out in droves to apply, train, and lead their campaign locally.”
The campaign has included safety measures in light of the pandemic during their training, and they are also equipped with “extensive legal support” should any legal issues or potential litigation cases against their gatherings arise.
“Historically, 40 Days for Life is well-known in the communities we are in and we have a good reputation with local officials and law enforcement,” Carney said. “If a local judge attempts to use COVID-19 as a vehicle to suppress our rights, then we are prepared to respond and defend those rights as Americans.”
Carney posted a picture to Twitter this morning of a group holding a vigil outside a Planned Parenthood in Fort Myers, Florida:
The annual campaign is peaceful, focused on the quiet efforts of prayer and fasting over protesting and chanting. Volunteers stand outside of their local abortion facilities, sometimes standing prayerfully, and other times calling out to women walking into the clinics. Volunteers are trained to converse with patients when the opportunity arises, and are equipped with information for pro-life resources that provide pregnancy support, adoption services, and other abortion alternatives.
Dorothy Zarelli, director of the Tacoma, Washington campaign, told The Christian Post, “We are on the sidewalk praying and holding our signs. We do not march or yell or confront anyone. We are just there to pray for the unborn and witness.”
40 Days for Life has already announced one life saved – mere hours into the 2020 campaign.
The campaign ends on November 1st. You can locate your nearest vigil and sign up as a volunteer on their website by clicking here.